Eating foods that may be harder to digest or taking certain medications can make you fart more often. Sometimes, frequent farting can occur with certain underlying health conditions or food intolerances.
Whether they’re loud or silent, stinky or odorless, everyone farts. Doctors say the average person farts anywhere from 10 – 20 times per day.
Farting is a normal part of digestion that reflects the activity of the bacteria in your gut. You might also notice that you fart more when you eat certain foods that are more difficult to digest, like beans or raw vegetables.
While farting every day is normal, farting all the time may be a sign of an underlying health problem.
In most cases, excessive farting can be controlled with changes to your diet and lifestyle. But in some cases, it’s necessary to seek out medical attention.
What should you do about your excessive flatulence? Here’s what you need to know:
As you swallow a piece of food, a mouthful of water, or simply your own saliva, you also swallow some air. This air builds up in your digestive system. More gas builds up when you digest food. Your body works to get rid of this gas either by farting or burping.
All of this is normal. Your farts might be loud or silent. They might be stinky or they might be odorless. Stinky farts are often caused by:
- eating high fiber foods
- having a food intolerance
- taking certain medications like antibiotics
- being constipated
- a bacterial buildup in your digestive tract
Very rarely, stinky farts are caused by colon cancer.
But what causes a person to fart more than usual? Some common causes include:
Some foods are more difficult for your body to digest than others. These foods often contain high amounts of fiber or certain kinds of sugars that are hard for the body to process. Some people may be more affected by certain foods than others. Some foods that commonly cause excessive gas include:
- bok choy
- Brussels sprouts
- dairy products containing lactose, like milk or cheese
- fructose, found in some fruits and often used as a sweetener in soft drinks and candy
- sorbitol, a sugar substitute found in candies and artificial sweeteners
- carbonated beverages, like soda and beer
Some digestive disorders that cause excessive farting include:
- autoimmune pancreatitis
- celiac disease
- Crohn’s disease
- dumping syndrome
- eating disorders
- gastroesophageal reflux disease
- inflammatory bowel disease
- irritable bowel syndrome
- lactose intolerance
- peptic ulcer
- ulcerative colitis
These digestive disorders interfere with normal digestion, placing stress on your digestive system, and often result in excessive farting.
Some people experience symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, including excessive farting, when stressed.
Certain habits sometimes associated with stress, like smoking, chewing gum, eating sweets, or drinking alcohol, may also cause excessive farting.
The more time food waste spends in your colon, the more time it has to ferment. This often leads to very frequent and stinky farts.
Changes in the amount or type of bacteria in your digestive tract
Antibiotics or consuming food tainted with bacteria can wreak havoc on your digestive tract, causing excessive farting.
No matter the cause of your excess farting, there are some things you can do today to try to get it under control. Some strategies include:
- Avoid foods you know usually cause you to fart. You might find it helpful to keep a food journal and note which foods cause you the least and most amounts of gas. Stick to eating foods that cause you the least amount of gas.
- Try eating more frequent and smaller meals throughout the day. This may reduce the amount of stress on your digestive system, hopefully reducing the amount of gas you experience.
- Eat and drink more slowly. Eating and drinking fast increases the amount of air you swallow. Eating and drinking more slowly can reduce this and hopefully reduce how much you fart.
- Exercise regularly to prevent gas buildup in your digestive tract. Healthy adults should get at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity per day.
- Eat fewer fatty foods. These foods slow digestion and give food in your digestive tract more time to ferment, resulting in excessive gas.
- Try an over-the-counter gas remedy. Medications containing simethicone, like Gas-X or Mylanta Gas, are designed to break up gas bubbles in the digestive tract. Medications like Beano are meant to decrease the amount of gas produced during the body’s digestion of beans and other high fiber foods.
- Give up smoking and chewing gum. This can make you swallow excess air, which builds up in your digestive tract.
- Avoid carbonated beverages like soda and beer. This can cause gas bubbles to build up in your digestive tract.
While farting is normal, excessive farting is not. Excessive farting can also impact your everyday activities. It can make you feel embarrassed or self-conscious and get in the way of you enjoying your everyday activities.
In most cases, excessive farting can be managed with changes to your diet and lifestyle.
In cases where excessive farting isn’t easily managed with at-home remedies, see a doctor. Be especially sure to see a doctor if your excessive flatulence is accompanied by:
- abdominal pain and bloating that doesn’t go away
- recurring diarrhea or constipation
- unexplained weight loss
- bowel incontinence
- blood in your stool
- signs of an infection, like high body temperature, vomiting, chills, and pain in your joints or muscles